The Director for Health Promotion Dr Paula Vassallo stated that “deaths were the tip of the iceberg” saying that 16 individuals had lost their lives this year. Vassallo explained that behind each statistic there was a family and not only a number. She told those present for the launch of “No thanks, I’m driving” that there were over 3,600 accidents in the last three months alone. Vassallo further explained that there were 463 casualties, 3 individuals subsequently lost their lives and 82 suffered from grievous injuries.
This year’s Don’t Drink and Drive Campaign, “No thanks, I’m driving” was launched during a press conference on Tuesday. In comments given to Newsbook.com.mt Vassallo explained that it was important for drivers to refrain from drinking if one was driving. She explained that the campaign brought a number of entities together, listing the Civil Protection Department, the Police, the Road Safety Council, Doctors for Road Safety, the Blood Donation Unit, the Foundation for Welfare Services, Sedqa and the Touring Club.
A member of the Road Safety Council underlined the importance of collaborating on this campaign. He said that while many considered drink driving as an issue among the younger generations, he explained that families do go out and enjoy themselves. The member stressed on the importance of children being properly buckled up on the passenger’s seat.
“Our message is valid all year round”
When asked why was it that the campaign was launched always during the festive season, Vassallo replied that while the message was released during the festive season their message was valid all year long. She stressed the importance of having a designated driver or take a taxi or else opt to walk home.
Dr Jonathan Joslin, a consultant at the Emergency Department told Newsbook.com.mt said that the campaign should be an all year round campaign. Joslin stressed on the fact that every decision had its own consequence which would affect oneself, others, maybe passengers’ in one’s car or other people around them. Joslin said that he hoped that their campaign’s message would gt through to some people who would think and refrain from drink driving.